Throwback songs for the Classes of 2012-2015

Jams from across the last two decades to accompany Homecomings weekend


This weekend is the University's annual Homecomings, a combination of a home football game and a celebration of students and alumni. This includes Saturday night’s Young Alumni Reunion, a much-hyped alumni party in the Amphitheater sponsored by the Classes of 2012 through 2015. In honor of these events, A&E showcases some throwback songs for these classes.

The Class of 2015: Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”

A rather obvious choice, Whitney Houston’s timeless cover of this Dolly Parton-penned love song was the Billboard #1 Year-End single in 1993, when most of the Class of 2015 was born. Other songs from the same year like “Whoomp! (There It Is),” “A Whole New World” and “Runaway Train” are all viable contenders for embodying the can-do attitude and world of possibilities before these recent grads, but Whitney’s signature belt truly embodies the unending love these alumni still feel for one another.

The Class of 2014: Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Perhaps a less obvious pick, grunge classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hung on for over a year before falling to as low as the #46 Billboard spot when the Class of 2014 first entered the world. YAR’s website proclaims “this weekend, for one night, feel like you never left.” Few songs better embody the ambivalent liberation experienced by first-year college students than Nirvana’s teen angst anthem. The Class of 2014 may be established in their post-college lives and careers, but returning for Homecomings will hopefully throw them back in the old teen spirit of their undergrad days. It remains to be seen if the party will take place in a dystopian gymnasium filled with anarchist cheerleaders.

The Class of 2013: Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life”

In 1997, the Class of 2013 had just started their academic paths by entering the first grade. The soundtrack to this time definitely included this upbeat 90s-rock jam, in spite of its questionable and sometimes depressing lyrics. Regardless, you can’t hear this one without singing along to the infectious “doo doo doo” chorus. This song’s place on the list is cemented by the fact that Third Eye Blind will be playing in Charlottesville at the exact same time as the YAR festivities. Tickets may be sold out, but one listen to “Semi-Charmed Life” will still have 2013 alumni rapidly riding down memory lane.

The Class of 2012: Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne, “Let It Rock”

This is a throwback list, and this song is the definition of a throwback: completely ubiquitous for a year — specifically 2008, when the Class of 2012 had just begun their journey at the University — and then gone forever, only to be revived on lists like this one. Just listen to the intro of this nearly-incoherent pop song and find yourself transported back to the premiere of “The Dark Knight” and the dawning days of the global recession. Kevin Rudolf, with some help from Lil Wayne, keeps things positive and ensures the Class of 2012 will have a rocking time on Grounds as they are thrown back to their earliest college parties where this song was played on endless repeat.

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